How much money does your dealership shell out to purchase leads and otherwise drive sales traffic?
According to NADA, dealers spent $4.47 billion on advertising in the first six months of 2019. When all is said and done, the dollar cost to create inbound leads, phone calls, drop-in traffic and internet leads for handling by your BDC is considerable.
Whether you’re responding to these opportunities reactively or proactively, your leads generally arrive inquiring about a specific vehicle. Prospects asking about used cars have in their minds what you’ve advertised online or in print, so the individual who takes that call or lead had better be able to discuss specifics about that vehicle. A sales associate not prepared to do so — or who needs to find out first and then call or email the prospect back — will likely lose the sale.
That vehicle may be on the lot or in recon, but either way, you have an extremely short window to engage that prospect and provide them with accurate and compelling facts about the car, or redirect them to another model. There’s not a lot of time to earn that customer’s trust while building value in that particular car.
If that level of professionalism is to exist, sales associates, whether working the lot or in your BDC, must have a line-of-sight to the car, whether that is actual sight or virtual via a desktop or mobile device. Not only that, they must know key descriptive details about that vehicle — including specific feature information, condition reports, reconditioning inspection particulars and repair facts. Furthermore, sales must know quickly where the car is located and where its ignition keys are.
In the stores where sales can answer prospects’ questions immediately and in specific confident detail, the conversion is double over stores where this is not a focus. With this capability, two out of three sales opportunities move ahead. That ratio drops to one out of three if sales has to chase down the car information and location and then call the prospect back.
Dealerships with aggressive sales operations have been selling cars out of recon for some time now, leveraging selling opportunities before the reconditioning is complete and the vehicle has moved to the front line. When the sales and BDC departments use their dealership’s time-to-line workflow software, they have real-time visibility into vehicle status, location, recon inspection and repair documents, as well as photographs, and can provide on-the-spot details to prospects. This equips them with the right information and details to present, respond to objections and sell that car with more confidence. These dealerships are converting valuable, expensive leads into actual customers.
When salespeople have access to time-to-line (T2L) workflow software, they have full visual access to their inventory pipeline, and are always ready to respond to leads and ups as customers request information. This information sells vehicles.
These sales conversion advantages are icing on the cake for dealerships using T2L disciplines. These disciplines bring unparalleled accountability to reconditioning and help managers reduce recon cycle times considerably — from weeks to as little as 72 hours.
A driving force is that we now know what it costs each day in disappearing profit for cars not sale-ready — between $35 to $50 per vehicle per day, or even more for premium brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche and Jaguar/Land Rover. T2L metrics from 6 million vehicles recently reconditioned through our system showed that top high-line luxury brands can slash recon time by nearly 50%, while popular domestics and imports cut their time by 30-40%.
T2L software has given dealers and groups the real costs involved in reconditioning a car, as well as elevated their awareness in managing recon’s key performance indicators. Using this, they’re able to increase turn and per-vehicle revenue. What’s even better is that, now, sales departments are working T2L to improve their ROI as well.